Category Archives: Catholic Sabah

KK Archdiocesan youth aspire to work closely with leaders towards Vision and Mission

Serena Wong (2nd L) is among the youth participating in the PAX Assembly on 13-16 June 2018, Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre.

BUNDU TUHAN – The youth of Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese aspire to work closely with other leaders  at parish level as well as at archdiocesan level towards attaining the Vision and Mission.

Almost all parish leaders brought with them their youth leaders to the PAX Assembly at Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre, 13-16 June 2018.

Serena Wong of Sacred Heart Cathedral youth ministry, said she expects to find her call in this PAX process and hopes to respond accordingly pertaining to the vision and mission of the archdiocese.

When asked how the archdiocese can further help the young people to overcome the three critical concerns – apathy, secularisation and political Islam – she said, “There have to be platforms for youth to be participants in the planning, evaluating and implementing the archdiocese’s direction.”

“There has to be a leadership formation for the young people, as succession plan of roles and responsibilities,” she added.

The cathedral parish has seven youth ministries in all three languages. All youth ministries have respectively reported in the Parish Pre-PAX meetings on what have been done and the needs of the young people according to the youth that they minister to and the needs that arise.

They were involved in programmes such as Adoration, talks, retreats and camps to encounter Christ.

Serena said that a Eucharist project is in the pipeline, which will only take place after the election of the new Parish Pastoral Council.

Harold Ong, of St Simon parish, Likas, said to further help the young people to overcome the three main concerns, the archdiocese must work closely with the youth ministry of the individual parishes, raising new leaders, training speakers and resource persons.

He hoped that the archdiocese can see a clearer picture of the challenges faced by parishes and work together as one family of Christ to come out with concrete solutions to remedy issues.

On the involvement of youth in the PAX process, Harold said, “Leaders of our youth ministry participated in the Pre-PAX Assembly on May 1.”

“We also participated in spiritual activities organised by our parish such as Holy Hour and Rosary, outreach to the less fortunate at Cheshire Home in Bukit Harapan, Bible sharing on a weekly basis and a Boys Brigade Company to expose our youths to Catholic Christian values,” said Harold.

On the next plan after PAX Assembly, Harold suggested to “organise an interactive session to learn more about political Islam.”

He said a sharing session is a good platform  for youths to share the experiences of attending a youth event, which promotes faith formation, such as the Diocesan Youth Festival in Tuaran. Linda Edward

Backgrounder: History of Pesta Belia Keuskupan

JBT 2000

The Journey of Diocesan Youth: Youth Camp to Pesta Koir

In 1976, after the formation of Suruhanjaya Belia PAX (SBP), the first programme organised was the ‘Sabah Youth Camp’ in Kionsom, Inanam. The success of the camp prompted SBP to  organise a second camp at the same place in 1977.

The following year, the camp was again held for the third time in Tambunan, and fourth time in Penampang in 1979. These camps aimed at building leadership skills among youths, especially in spiritual leadership.

In the early 80’s, when SBP’s leadership changed  hands, the new line of committee introduced Pesta Koir (PK) to replace Sabah Youth Camp, as the main programme of SBP.

PK was a choir competition between choir groups of each zone under Kota Kinabalu Diocese, which was at that time divided into East Coast zone, North-West Coast, South-West Coast and the Interior.

The first PK was held in 1983 in KK, which was participated by several choir groups.

It was held yearly, and in 1987, the scope of its activities was broadened to include drawing and public speaking competitions. This led to a change in its name from Pesta Koir to Pesta Belia Keuskupan (PBK).

Pesta Koir to Pesta Belia Keuskupan

SBP leadership changed hands for the fourth time in 1989, and the new committee started to re-format its concept.

Their main programme, PBK, was nevertheless retained at that time and was organised only once in two years.

In 1997, SBP started to employ full-time staff and a Diocesan Youth Office was established. That year saw the name Suruhanjaya Belia PAX changed to Tim Pelayanan Belia Diosis (TPBD).

The 10th PBK was held in 1998, as the main programme of TPBD and saw significant changes in its format.

Several new sessions were included such as catechesis, para liturgy, thematic performances, Vigil and Eucharistic celebration with the Bishop.

TPBD succeeded in bringing the environment of ‘World Youth Day’ to the diocesan level. Close to 2,000 young people participated in PBK-10, held in Sandakan.

Two years later, Jubli Agung Tahun 2000 (JBT2000) was celebrated, which saw TPBD KK and Keningau combining  their efforts in organising it. Close to 5,000 Catholic youth participated from the whole of Sabah.

The success of JBT2000 prompted both dioceses to organise a combined Sabah Youth Day (SYD) in Keningau (2004), SYD-2 in Ranau (2008), SYD-3 in Tambunan (2012), and SYD-4 in Tawau (2016), with participation  from Sandakan Diocese also.

PBK-11 resumed in 2010 to give way to these other diocesan events.

After PBK-11, TPBD Agung has decided to hold PBK once in 4 years.

PBK-12 was held in 2014 in Penampang parish. PBK13 Programme Book

Youth gathering concludes with exhortation to be witnesses of the Joy of the Gospel

Participants sing and dance joyfully during the Pesta Belia Keuskupan Ke-13 held on 17-21 June 2018 at St John Tuaran.

TUARAN – Participants of a youth gathering were exhorted to be witnesses of the joy of the Gospel at its conclusion recently.

The 13th Archdiocesan Youth Festival (Pesta Belia Keuskupan Ke-13 or PBK-13) was hosted by St John Tuaran on 17-21 June 2018 at the Dewan Sri Sulaman here.

Franciscan Sister Dora Obod, PBK-13 coordinator, delivered her closing remarks to the 852  participants at the closing ceremony on June 21.

In her speech, she said: “We have been here for four nights and five days, and have celebrated our Catholic faith with the fullness of joy and gratitude through friendship, sharings, and especially in the Mass, where we experienced the seed of the Joy of the Gospel being planted in our heart.”

Sr Dora talked about dreams that surely exist in young hearts, and pointed to them an example they must follow, taking Mary as the model of the faithful follower of Christ who is not afraid to do God’s will.

She asked them to take good care of their hearts and give them to Jesus so that they “will lead a meaningful life.”

Sr Dora exhorted them not to give up in the face of challenges and reminded them to remember that Jesus has conquered the world (cf Jn 16:33).

“This camp is not the end but the beginning, therefore go and be witnesses of the Joy of the Gospel with courage!” she said.

One of the objectives of PBK-13 is that the youth be courageous witnesses of the Joy of the Gospel.

Sr Dora challenged them, “Are you courageous to be witnesses of the Joy of the Gospel in today’s world, in your family, schools, workplace and wherever you may be, and to be Catholic citizens of Sabah and Malaysia?”

The young people gave their resounding ‘Yes!’ to all of these questions. Linda Edward

Bible Sunday reflection on youth, faith, vocation discernment

Young adults pray before a bible study session.

In this article, we wish to offer some suggestions which parents and teachers on the one hand, and young people on the other, can take note of in the application of Scripture to the faith development of young people. It is hoped that these reflections will assist young people as they discern how God is leading them to a vocation as disciples who seek to follow Jesus more faithfully in their way of life.

Two areas where parents and teachers can apply scripture in the development of faith and discernment to their children

  1. Starting them young for their ultimate future

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn away from it (Proverbs 22:6).

This faith training which leads to growth in discernment is crucial for developing the young person. It exposes the modern counterculture of death which is hardly any improvement for life and its future. The young people are faced with a superficial lifestyle without dealing seriously with the root problems of a narcissistic society. A culture where faith is not at its centre degenerates inevitably into chaos and crisis. Without a positive environment of faith and the teaching of scripture instilled upon the young, the backlash of a culture of death, will keep the young in a state of stupor and uncertainty.

The training of faith teaches the young how to endure difficulties and pain. This is especially rewarding when the crisis of life hits them. Faith that comes from suffering helps them to recognise the strength they need to endure the trials of life that must come. We rejoice greatly in our suffering because it produces endurance, and endurance produces character (Romans 5:3).

  1. Rooting their children in faith

The first seven chapters of the book of Proverbs exhorts children to listen to their father. Listen my children to your father’s instruction (Proverbs 1:8; 2:1; 3:1; 4:1; 5:1; 6:1; 7:1).

There is a godly wisdom that is handed down to a child by parents and by no other means. The child can never acquire this on its own. Submission to an elder and to a life of faith is the foundation of all learning. Creating a teachable spirit upon the young is the quintessence of a successful parent. And how from infancy you have known the sacred scriptures that are able to instruct you and save you through faith in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:15)

Teaching faith is crucial because the so-called “logical world” cannot provide adequate answers about the true purpose of life. This aspect of faith comes from a proper explanation of the scriptures. To inspire and reinforce faith, repetition and focus are needed because of the godless existence of an environment of faithlessness. We live in a state that does not value prayer, faith, and reflection. Distraction is the order of the day. As the human mind receives thousands of stimuli, both positive and negative, the natural ability of the brain is enhanced when, with singleness of purpose, young people centre their attention upon a desired object of study. (Dr Richard J Forster, Celebration of Discipline. The discipline of study.) The task is to root the child with constant links to a life and teaching of faith.

Two areas young people can apply scripture to their development of faith and discernment of vocation

  1. Rekindle the gift of God

For this reason, I remind you to rekindle, (fan into flame) the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands. (2 Timothy 1:6)

What is this gift of God? It refers to the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit to equip a young person in faith to be of service. Some may have the gift to teach catechism, another to be part of a choir and yet another to work among the poor.

St Paul uses the word “stir up” or “fan into flame,” , it means to keep blazing and to keep the flame of fire burning. It could also mean to rekindle or to re-stir the flame, indicating that the flame could be dying out. Sometimes a young person needs to be re-stirred and rekindled. “Zeal is required to stir up the gift of God for it lies within our power to kindle or to quench grace. By laziness and carelessness, it is extinguished, and by attentiveness and diligence it is kept aflame” (St John Chrysostom, homilies on 2 Timothy 1).

The idea of “stirring up” is in the present tense, which means it is progressive and a continuous action. The young person is to keep stirring up his gifts, never letting its flame lose its intensity. Every young person anointed with the Holy Spirit at Confirmation possesses a very special grace. God has gifted him or her with a special vocation in faith. The young person must therefore do exactly what God has gifted them to do.

  1. In the spirit of power, love, and self-control

“God has not given us a spirit of timidity but rather a spirit of power and of love and self-control.” (2 Tim 1:7)

Too often young people fear standing up for Jesus and his Church not because they do not love God but because they fear ridicule. One may feel the embarrassment of being called “holy.”  Mockery and criticism follow if a mistake occurs. Opposition from elders that “You are not mature enough” or being abused for standing up for justice reinforces these fears. Every young person at one time or another will experience such an obstacle when witnessing to their faith.

It is precisely for this reason the Holy Spirit infuses power into the heart of the young person to face the strain of difficulties and trials…power to take on a job and do it well; power to be confident in proclaiming Jesus both in deed and word; power to withstand the temptations of darkness and sin. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power in your inner being (Ephesians 3:16; Acts 1:8: 4:33)

Paul is quick to add love into any gift of the Holy Spirit so that it will be well executed in a wise and mature manner. “Follow the manner of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts” (1 Cor 14:1). The kind of love that Paul speaks about is “agape” love. (Greek: unconditional sacrificial love) Agape love is God’s love. God alone possesses it therefore only God alone can infuse it through the Holy Spirit, “…and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2).

To make it complete, the Holy Spirit infuses self-discipline meaning, a disciplined character (1 Tim 1::7) with self-control which is the final fruit of the spirit (cf. Gal 5:22) Self-control is the mastery over one’s mind, heart, and actions despite the opposition. Self-control makes a mockery of the superficiality of our age. It bares opens the immaturity and the curse of instant satisfaction which results in a vicious cycle of a hangover, shame, and destruction. It calls young people to move beyond surface living into what is genuine and meaningful.

For the many young people who are in bondage caused by pornography, fornication, drugs, and drinking; scripture has strong warnings on the condition of their soul. “They are blots and blemishes, reveling in the pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable, they are experts of greed – an accursed brood” (2 Peter 2: 13b- 14). Even for the lukewarm and self-confident, St Augustine cautions, “we are lost when we are satisfied with our condition.”

Self-control and spiritual disciplines are not simply for saints or sinners but rather are the ordinary means of seeking liberation. The church calls this abstinence or penance.


Therefore, if any young person like Timothy be guided by faith and is willing to respond to the stirring of the gifts, inevitably the young person will develop and progress in his capacity to discern what is true “agape” love and the mastery of self-control.

The testimony of hundreds of case studies has proven that the young can be victorious in their struggle against the dark world of sin and shame. It is to these young ones who are willing to plunge into sacred scriptures, whom none else can instruct better but one willing to keep the word of God in his heart. (cf Psalm 119:9-11)

Ultimately it is the young people that Pope Francis sees as the future of our humanity with the vision of faith enkindled in their hearts. Pope Francis, in his message for World Mission Day 2017 states, that young people are the hope of mission.

“The person of Jesus Christ and the Good News he proclaims continue to attract many young people to a vocation as disciples, following in the footsteps of their Divine Master. With courage and enthusiasm, they seek ways to put themselves at the service of humanity. “There are many young people who offer their solidarity in the face of the evils of the world and engage in various forms of militancy and volunteering … How beautiful it is to see that young people are street preachers, joyfully bringing Jesus to every street, every town square and every corner of the earth! (Message of Pope Francis, for World Mission Day 2017- Mission at the heart of the Christian Faith-106)

Questions for reflection

  1. Who are the elders, mentors, and heroes in your life that have shown you the beauty of faith and scripture?
  2. What is the primary requirement for a young person embarking on the faith journey?
  3. Do you agree that the discipline of self-control is essential to counter a culture of death? Why?
  4. How can I pursue a life of joy, strength, and purpose as a young person?

Bible Sunday falls on July 8 this year.

SHC-CMI EMCs prepare for commissioning

A section of the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at the preparatory recollection on 24 May 2018, Sacred Heart Parish  Centre Karamunsing.

KOTA KINABALU  – Extraordinary Ministers of Communion (EMCs) of the three language groups (English, Chinese and Bahasa Melayu) from Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing, Church of Mary Immaculate (CMI) Bukit Padang, Carmelite Chapel Karamunsing, St Paul Dontozidon, Our Lady Queen of Peace Kobusak and St John Kopungit gathered together for a recollection on 24 May 2018 at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here.

In his opening words, parish priest Archbishop John Wong said,  “All of you (EMCs) are holy people, are you not?”  Indeed, he said,  it is a vital point for all EMCs to ponder and reflect on this very important ministry and for being chosen or called to serve as Extraordinary Ministers of Communion.

In view of the language groups, the recollection was conducted separately by Abp Wong (Chinese), Father Paul Lo (English) and Father Maxmillianno Hontor (Bahasa Melayu).

To the English EMCs, Fr Paul explained the roles and differences of the ordinary ministers and extraordinary ministers. He said that bishops, priests and deacons are called ‘ordinary’ ministers, while lay people are described as ‘extraordinary’ ministers.

To strengthen the spiritual life and daily conversion, Fr Paul emphasised the importance of a personal prayer life, reading the Word of God, frequent adoration at the Blessed Sacrament and daily Mass (although it is not obligatory and compulsory).

Fr Paul also advised and reminded the attendees to always serve with the right spirit, wholeheartedly with love and humility. He said that EMCs should not get carried away by the privilege that they enjoy knowing that they always have seats reserved for them. He reminded the EMCs not to abuse the privilege or take advantage by reserving seats for their family members especially during festive seasons like Easter and Christmas celebrations.

During the Q & A before the conclusion of the recollection, one particular question which stood out was, “What is the retirement age for the EMCs? We all know that ordinary ministers like bishops and priests retire at the age of 75.”

In response to this, the archbishop said that there is no age limit for as long as the EMC is still fit and healthy to serve. However, he added, EMCs are advised to use their common sense that if they know that they are no longer fit to serve, such as having difficulty in walking or standing for long period of time or not being able to hold the ciborium steadily, then they should retire.

In conclusion, Abp Wong encouraged the EMCs to aspire to live a holy life, and at the same time to be wary of leading a double life.

All EMCs were commissioned on June 2 (Sunset Mass) and June 3 (Sunday) in conjunction with the Feast of Corpus Christi (Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ). – Michael Tai

Penampang parish sees rise in convalidation of marriages

Couples listen to a facilitator during a session on the convalidation of marriages, St Michael Penampang, 6 May 2018.

PENAMPANG – Thirty married couples registered for the first of three formation sessions slated for this year to convalidate marriages at St Michael parish, including the nine zones under the parish on 6 May 2018.

The record showed that this year’s number of marriages to be convalidated has more than doubled last year’s list, attributing the phenomenon to the openness and readiness of couples, after coming to a proper understanding, to validate their marriages in the eyes of the Church.

Most of the couples are married for over five years. However, the longest married is 30 years and the most recent are about a year.

The majority of them are married under the native and civil law, while some are married through other Christian denominational services.

The duration of the convalidation process is three months, and constitutes seven steps, which include a marriage enrichment formation, interviews with the priest, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, before the final sacramental blessing when it is deemed complete.

Convalidation of marriages in the Penampang parish is organized by St Michael Parish Family Apostolate (PFA) in collaboration with Couples for Christ (CFC), and is acceptable so long as one of the spouses of each couple is a baptised Catholic.

It is our earnest hope that Catholics who plan to get married should attend the pre-marriage course first, then ensure to register their marriage through the Catholic Church. The civil marriage (JPN) will be arranged by the Church few weeks prior to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony,” said Pauline Pinso, PFA facilitator as well as a senior member of CFC Penampang, on working within the confines of a truly sacramental marriage.

The next formation dates are scheduled on 9-10 June and 13-14 October this year. Couples who have yet to convalidate their marriages are encouraged to remove the impediment that would invalidate their marriages in the eyes of the Church.   Contact the parish office at Tel: 088-711009 for early registration for the next formation. – Soccom Penampang


Stella Maris ministries set up booths to attract new members

A section of the exhibition booths set up by the various parish ministries and groups, Stella Maris Parish Hall Tg Aru, 20 May 2018.

TANJUNG ARU – Stella Maris parish ministries set up booths to attract new members on Pentecost Day, 20 May 2018.

Twenty-four ministries and groups proudly marched into the church with their buntings which were displayed at the sanctuary during the Sunday morning Mass.

The groups set up ‘exhibition’ booths to introduce to parishioners their apostolates, what they have committed to, their upcoming plans and projects. Visitors to their booths were also invited to consider joining them as new members.

To instill and attract interest, some of them have prepared prayer scrolls as gifts, other giveaways, and beautiful displays of artwork and slide shows.

Many parishioners have shown interest and made on the spot decisions to serve, while many were curious as well.

When asked what the exhibitions meant to them, some said the exhibitions have brought awareness so that they could be more active in the parish and contribute in terms of their skills and ideas.

As an added excitement, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) did their raffle draw for the Catholic Center, which sales amounted to RM10,000.

Among those who participated were the Catholic Women’s League (CWL), lectors, Joyful Weekend Gathering Higher Level/Lower Level (JWG HL /LL), Boys Brigade, youths, Divine Mercy, Special Ministry, Komuniti Kristian Dasar (KKDs), Christian Initiation of Children (CIC), Legion of Mary, Children Liturgy, altar servers, RCIA, Eucharistic Adoration Ministry (EAM), Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR), Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC), choir, wardens, and matrons.

This is the second year that Stella Maris parish has carried out such an activity during Pentecost. – Teresa Alberto

SHC-CMI officials make FAM trip to archdiocesan centre

The Sacred Heart Cathedral and Church of Mary Immaculate officials pose with Abp John Wong in his office at the Archdiocesan Centre Penampang during their visit on 26 May 2018.

PENAMPANG  – Parish pastoral councillors from Sacred Heart Cathedral and Church of Mary Immaculate made a surprised familiarisation trip (FAM) to the Archdiocesan Centre where Archbishop John Wong’s office is located on 26 May 2018.

Dominic Lim, who works at the centre as Executive Secretary, facilitated a brief introduction on the structure and operation of the centre. He noted that it was a first of its kind for councillors to visit and be given a briefing.

Lim informed the visitors that the centre was ready for occupation in 1985, and was blessed by then Bishop John Lee.

The visitors were told that 50 staff are employed by the centre, which includes voluntary, part-time and full-time personnel.

After the briefing, they were taken around to tour the various offices at the different blocks. Besides the secretariat and finance offices, the centre also houses the Aspirants Formation House, the Commissions, a resource library, an archive, meeting and seminar facilities, a bookstore, and the Catholic Services Centre.

Some councillors have found it good and beneficial to have the opportunity to visit the Archdiocesan Centre and to have a better understanding of how the archdiocesan offices function, how the parishes are being cared for, how vast and wide the running of the archdiocese encompasses, etc.

They felt that such a FAM visit could not but serve to bring laity and church together for a better integration in promoting God’s work in the sharing of the Good News, and in extending His Kingdom here on earth. – CS

CMI organises low-key Kaamatan celebration

Father Joshua Liew (L facing camera) dances the sumazau with the others, CMI Kaamatan celebration Bukit Padang, 6 May 2018.

BUKIT PADANG – The Church of Mary Immaculate here organised a low-key Kaamatan celebration on 6 May 2018 to thank God for a bountiful harvest of love,  faith, and joyful service.

The celebration started with a procession before Mass from the canteen to the church. The procession, known as Mamanau Kampung, included the celebrant, altar servers, readers, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, and parishioners dressed in their traditional costume.

The Mass was presided by Father Joshua Liew. The Proclamation of the Word of God was trilingual, in Bahasa Malaysia, Kadazan and English.

After Mass, parishioners were invited for a fellowship at the canteen. About 100 showed up and together with Fr Joshua, had a simple but meaningful fellowship. Members of the CMI parish council, groups and ministries were present to support the event.

Besides lunch, other activities included a best-dressed in traditional costume competition for men and women, and Sumazau dancing.

During lunch, the guests had the opportunity to savour traditional dishes, like pickled delicacies such as tuhau and nonsom bambangan. Dessert such as hinompuka (sticky rice cake) and Lihing, the local rice wine, were served too.

The best-dressed in traditional costume competition saw six winners – three men and three women.

May is the month when the Kadazan Dusun Murut (KDM) communities celebrate bountiful harvests. – Catherine Engsun

Could Francis be shifting his stand on gay influence?

No sooner had I spotted one hopeful sign in the Pope’s handling of the Chilean sex-abuse scandal when today’s news brought another. Pope Francis has reaffirmed the Church’s policy barring active homosexuals from seminaries.

This concern about homosexual influence contrasts quite sharply with the Holy Father’s reported advice to a gay Chilean abuse victim to “be happy with who you are.” It contrasts with the most famous words of his pontificate, uttered in response to questioning about a homosexual cleric: “Who am I to judge?” But if Pope Francis is finally recognising the damage that homosexual influence has done to the Church, that is surely a hopeful sign.

In his confidential letter to the Chilean bishops – the version that the Vatican did not publish – the Pope listed the signs of serious corruption in the country’s episcopate, including the fact that “some bishops or superiors…are believed to have entrusted [seminarians] to priests suspected of active homosexuality.”

Then just a few days later it emerged that the Pope had advised Italian bishops not to admit young men into seminaries if “you have the slightest doubt” that they might be active homosexuals.

Pope Francis is not the first Roman Pontiff to warn against homosexual influence, particularly at the seminary level.

In April 2002, when American bishops traveled to Rome to discuss the sex-abuse scandal with Pope John Paul II, the Vatican summary of their talks mentioned “the need for a deeper study of the criteria of suitability of candidates for the priesthood.”

Again in November 2005 the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education released a document, approved by Pope Benedict XVI, stating clearly that the Church “may not admit to the seminary and Holy Orders those who practise homosexuality, show profoundly deep-rooted homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called gay culture.”

Even in this pontificate, the Congregation for Clergy confirmed the ban on homosexual seminarians, quoting from the earlier 2005 document.

So we know that Vatican statements about homosexual influence have not yet translated into policies that address the problem. I am not predicting a dramatic change in papal policies now. But stranger things have happened, and surely we can hope.

Pope Francis was severely shaken by the scandal in Chile. Has the jolt changed his attitude toward homosexual influence in the Church? For that matter, will the Pope’s cautions against homosexual seminarians dampen the enthusiasm of some of his most ardent supporters? This issue has at least the potential to bring about a significant change. – P Lawler

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